Spring has returned. The Earth is like a child that knows poems. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Monday, December 7, 2015

What a weekend... Life is Good.

On Friday I had a birthday. I turned 71. When my grandmother was in her 70's I thought that was REALLY OLD. I suppose it still looks old to some... but now that I'm here, and the reality of it is apparent, I don't feel this old.  I don't feel like I did a few years ago when the BIG 70 was looming like a huge slow motion title wave. I have a year of this under my belt now and I think I'm going to be OK...if...
I can find my glasses, car keys and the really comfortable pair of shoes that I put somewhere so Carl, our Corgi, wouldn't find them and chew on them. The ones I still can't find.
And then... there's my left knee. It seems that nothing heals on its own after 70. You hurt yourself without doing anything that you can remember ...and there lies the rub. You can't remember how you hurt yourself so you can't tell the doctor what happen... so they have to probe, test, examine and stab at a guess about what might have caused this injury. Then you start with ice packs and Tylenol, and hope for weeks, that this will be the answer... but it's not. Then an xray finds the beginnings of DEGERERATIVE ARTHRITIS and BONE DEBRIS and they tell you that you may have to try some cortisone shots and possibly have a knee replacement... "...down the road". I call it my "road" of discontent. The ragged road of being older than dirt. It's an ongoing saga. I'm trying to be positive about this but pain sucks.

So... enough of this... I had a great weekend. My sister was here. It's kind of a tradition that she be here and, in January, I will drive down to celebrate her birthday. We do this because we love each other and because we need to support each other during these trying years and cheer each other on. I have good friends and they are wonderful... but there's nothing like a sister for whining and crying. We have history. We understand each other.
So... We spent four days doing fun stuff.  On Friday, my birthday, I strapped on my knee brace and we went to an antique store, in Jackson, just for fun. The Prospector took us to dinner that night.

 Sis brought me a homemade carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and a hand packed box of See's candy. 
 Yeah... it was a good day.

 We went shopping in Sutter Creek for the Christmas Open House on Saturday. I kind of over did it with the walking, but we sure had fun.

Also, on Saturday, we cut some Manzanita Branches for decorations. We do this every year before Christmas. I use one as a Christmas tree. Sis uses hers over her kitchen window. Then we decorate them with homemade items and favorite ornaments.
This is my "tree" on the buffet.

We also made paper wreaths out of old song book pages.
This is the progression of rolling and gluing the pages onto a backing and the final results of my sister's wreath. She used small twigs, brown packing grass, some gold paint and a sparkly silver ornament.

It's so beautiful.

Mine was done a little differently. I used smaller pages from an old Christian songbook.

 Instead of making cones, I rolled the pages and shredded one end of each rolled page before hot gluing them to a round cardboard backing.
Finally a few pieces of mossy twigs, and three star ornaments.  I'm quite pleased with the wreath.
I want to try more of these. The possibilities are endless.
After dinner we started Christmas boxes. It's the technique that I used on the Halloween boxes that I've made before.
 You start with any old box or book and hot glue plastic toys and fake flowers and, in this case, plastic words like JOY and MERRY CHRISTMAS on the top of the box. Then you separate two ply paper towels, wet them and lay them over the top of everything that you have attached to the box and use Mod Podge glue to attach the paper towels and tuck, fold and push the towels into all the nooks and crannies of the figures on the box. We did this last night so it would be dry this morning.
I should have taken more photos because the transition is really amazing.
I went from a plain box like this...
To a colorful, painted box with Joy written all over it... and a dragonfly... and a little frog. In the right top, the word, the frog and the dragonfly didn't seem to stand out, so I added some black paint with a dry brush and more gold. I also added a bit of gold sparkle glue too, which isn't that noticeable in the photo, but added some real bling bling to the whole box. The darker color brought out the letters and accents more. Compare the upper right photo with the lower left. You can see the difference in the two of them. This whole process gets easier with practice.
My sister nailed it on her first try. She used and old soap box that hinged. She had a dollar store "Merry Christmas" ornament that took forever to tuck and wrap with the paper towel, but she did it and it turned out so festive and gorgeous.
I love this technique. It can be a bit labor intensive on a late Sunday night, when we did the wet paper towel/ Mod Podge part, but the results are always worth it. Here's a link to Pinterest and the original site were I got the idea. Just click here.
Sis went home this morning and I miss her all ready. As a distraction, I went to the dentist. Two hours in a dentist chair with Novocaine was not my idea of the way to end this wonderful weekend, but it did give me something else to do for a few hours. At one point, I was looking out of the window. I noticed an incident across the road. The dentist, his assistant and I watched as two woman have a knock down, dragged out, kicking and screaming fight in front of the library across the street. Someone called the police. One of the women got arrested. Real drama in downtown Jackson. That doesn't happen very often in our small town... in broad daylight. It was kind of comic relief for all of us.

I miss you Sis. Thanks for everything... you are a dear person, even if you were a pain in the arse when you were little. You grew up to be my very special friend. I love you. See you at Christmas.